Wonder Bread Rescued, Hostess Twinkies Left Hanging

Wednesday, 27 Feb 2013 04:47 PM

By Dale Eisinger

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Late last year, snack food fans across the states were shocked to find Hostess, the brand behind Twinkies, Devil Dogs, Chocodiles, Wonder bread, and all Dolly Madison products, would be liquidating its assets. Now it seems at least Wonder bread has been saved at the hands of a highest bidder, but Twinkies is still out of luck as those snack cake bakeries haven't been purchased.

Reuters reported that Flower Foods Inc. has stepped in to buy the recently bankrupted bakery company and all its bread brands, including Wonder.

There was to be an auction for the company last Thursday. But, because there were no other bidders, the auction was called off and Flower Foods will take ownership of Hostess and all its brands, including Butternut, Home Pride, Merita, and Nature's Pride. The sale is subject to approval by a bankruptcy court.

Flower agreed in January to be the "stalking horse" bidder, which meant it would follow the proceedings of the auction and step in if no one else would put in the bid.

On Feb. 12, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, in White Plains, N.Y., said Hostess could go ahead with the sale of its brands. Two private equity firms, Apollo global Management LLC and C. Dean Metropoulos and Co., had set a baseline offer of $410 million to buy the snack cake division, according to the Daily Caller. But that division has yet to be snatched up.

The Hostess liquidation was announced in November 2012, when the company ceased operation in all of its U.S. plants and filed for bankruptcy. Hostess had trouble competing in a marketplace where consumers are more and more health conscious. First lady Michelle Obama put nutrition and exercise at the forefront of her husband's first term in office and continues to push those values as his next term rolls on.

"Many people have worked incredibly long and hard to keep this from happening, but now Hostess Brands has no other alternative than to begin the process of winding down and preparing for the sale of our iconic brands," Hostess CEO Gregory F. Rayburn said in a statement.

The Hostess shutdown, in total, would have cost the U.S. economy 18,500 jobs.

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